The Myth that DIY/Self-Wash Dilutes In-Store Grooming, Part 2

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grooming2Grooming has evolved from an elite segment of the overall pet industry into a necessary, must-have segment for pet retailers, retailers and catalogs. Credit must go to entrepreneurs who created a need for a service that few could do well: pet grooming.

Initially, the most successful were businessmen with little knowledge of pet grooming themselves, but who researched and developed a sound approach to the grooming business. Their establishments were attractive, open and above all spotlessly clean. They offered low prices for the self-wash customers (DIYers) to come in, use superior equipment and supplies, and dry their animals in a safe and professional location without the messy and time consuming clean-up at home. They marketed extras which approached what the professional groomer would charge for the same service.  After the DIYers 4th visit, in about 40% of the cases, they requested a quote for the staff groomer providing the same service and voilà, we now have a new grooming industry client.

Their success at attracting and maintaining excellent groomers became key to keeping this new business. These entrepreneurs had not only introduced a totally new group to the “groomer pool”, but they had initiated this group to the difficulties involved in grooming, placing a new value on the service rendered. Sales of higher value products furthered this evolution and made this a more educated and valuable client for the retail pet business.

Essential equipment sales for home grooming are skyrocketing. Non-pet outlets such as Amazon sell high numbers of small, inexpensive dog dryers to DIYers for in home use. Videos and instruction literature encourage this trend, however promoting to full service groomers will not be as extensive as the self-wash model unless pet retailers realize that by offering they eventually will significantly increase their customer base. The idea of offering instructional classes will certainly stimulate that all important bond and ability to market higher quality and more profitable products.

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